How I Learned To Love Climate Modeling

I’m annoyed by the New York Times hire of Bret Stephens, more annoyed by the defense that Times editors are mounting on Twitter. I’m annoyed that this has to be said again, but here we are, as Times editors tell us that any criticism is merely trying to silence a conservative voice. My objections have nothing to do with Stephens’s political views, except that it is clear that those views drive his views of climate change.

I was once a climate skeptic, with a great deal more basis than Stephens’s sense that life is uncertain and therefore we should eat dessert first. My skepticism arose BECAUSE I knew something about the climate models. Read More

Russian Computer Experts Arrested for Treason

Two men were arrested on Wednesday, January 25 in December by Russia’s FSB on charges of treason. The men are Sergei Mikhailov, a senior officer of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, and Ruslan Stoyanov, the head of computer incident response investigations at Kaspersky Lab, which makes antivirus programs. [Update: The arrest was just announced; it appears the men were arrested in December.]  Earlier, the firing of the director of the Center for Information Security, Andrei Gerasimov, was announced, reportedly related to an investigation into the agency’s cooperation with Kaspersky on criminal hacking cases. Moscow Times is now reporting that two more men have been arrested: Dmitry Dokuchaev, who worked in the same FSB unit as Mikhailov, and another whose name has not been released. Read More

Links – January 25, 2017

Donald Trump likes and dislikes nuclear weapons, according to what he has said, as slippery as anything else he says. Here are excerpts from testimony to Congress by his Secretaries of State and Defense on the subject. Their views are fairly conventional. We don’t know how much they will influence him.

Why Trump’s bluffing won’t be effective on nuclear weapons issues. What the Trump administration needs to do to get up to speed on those issues. Read More

Links – December 6, 2016

On the Donald Trump presidency and its effect on America:  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says we need to speak clearly about the dangers. Similarly, Vann R. Newkirk II says we must confront racism.

Evan McMullin ran for president as an independent. Now, on Twitter and in the New York Times, he is warning about Trump’s autocratic tendencies.

The president alone can order a nuclear strike. Alex Wellerstein summarizes the procedure.

The Heritage Foundation recommends that Donald Trump withdraw from all nuclear treaties as president. Steven Pifer tells us why that’s a bad idea.

Meanwhile, in Russia. Putin and pseudoscience.

Fascinating long read on an Estonian dialect spoken in Latvia and the people who have researched it.

Long read on religion, politics, and foreign policy in Iran.

Issues in South Asia for the next president. (photo from here)

 

Trump Talks To Tsai

Donald Trump has been taking (or making, hard to tell) phonecalls from foreign leaders congratulating him on his electoral victory. He has been doing this without the benefit of briefing by the State Department, official interpreters and note-takers, or anyone else who has the US’s interests at heart, possibly on unsecured phones. Pakistan released what appears to be a verbatim transcription of his part of the call, featuring the words “fantastic” and “amazing” rather too many times and promising to help Pakistan with whatever. India was not pleased. Read More